The National Coal Mining Museum for England

Learn about our industrial past with this Yorkshire museum. By Nell Darby. In 2016, the last deep coal mine in the UK – Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire – closed, bringing to an end our long association with mining. Many of us will have had family members and ancestors who made their living as miners, … Read more

Exploring the history of Leeds

This West Yorkshire city has seen a recent resurgence, and it’s a mecca for shoppers: but what else does it offer the history-lover? Nell Darby explores. It is today a fashionable city, home to an extensive number of high-end shops, and thousands of students studying at one of its three universities. It is also proud … Read more

The shaming of Madeleine Smith

In 19th century Scotland, one criminal case shocked the country, and also highlighted issues of gender and class, writes Nell Darby. She was a young woman from the wealthy, educated class of Glasgow society – one who had a bright future ahead of her, in demand as a potential wife, and the life and soul … Read more

The history of Derby

This Midlands city is about as far from the sea as it could be, but is very much at the heart of Britain’s industrial history, writes Andrew Chapman. Derby today is a vibrant retail centre, but it is most notable for being an industrial powerhouse throughout two millennia of history. That history goes back to … Read more

Worcester’s medical museums

Tucked away in the corner of a Worcestershire hospital is an informative, occasionally ghoulish, museum devoted to medical history, writes Nell Darby. The City of Worcester is home to not one, but two, medical museums, both of which are free to visit. One, The Infirmary, is located in the city centre, as part of the … Read more

Scottish oil shale workers

Colin Waters recalls a Scottish industry that once employed thousands of workers. Few people in Britain are aware of Scotland’s once massive oil shale Industry. For over a century, it was a major producer of oil and derivatives employing hundreds of Scottish and ‘incomer’ workers. At its peak in 1913, the industry employed an estimated … Read more

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland

The first two Statistical Accounts of Scotland can help to bring your family history to life. Chris Paton explores how. If you have Scottish ancestry, the Statistical Accounts of Scotland are undoubtedly some of the most useful and interesting documents available for your research. Published in the late 18th and mid 19th centuries, they can … Read more

The Industrial Revolution comes to rural Suffolk

Dee Dent’s research into her family’s history has thrown light on how the arrival of modern industrial manufacturing transformed life in Victorian Suffolk. A pony and trap hired from the local pub, a picnic basket, and her much-loved grandfather at the reins. My mother had a perfect summer holiday when she and her younger brother went … Read more